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Ran

[Book Spoilers] The Duel

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Ellaria's cries and Tyrion's despairing laughter continue to play over this shot until the screen cuts to black. The credits are accompanied by a suitably mournful song, or better yet, total silence.

I love the way you describe it, and I wish that it ends this way! However, not only will we get Inigo Montaya comparisons or something (no idea what that is), but there will be many people comparing it to the iconic Walt breakdown scene in Crawl Space. I think Alex Graves and D&D might want to avoid the comparisons.

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The part of the duel that I have the clearest mental image of, however, is the end, which will double as the end of the episode. I've pretty much mapped out my ideal version of that scene, shot for shot, far too many times. ;)

Clegane brutally delivers the finishing blow to Oberyn - whether by smashing his head in, cutting him in half, or some combination of the two. Immediately following that scene we get two reaction shots in quick succession: Ellaria screams in despair and horror, and Tyrion falls to his knees and vomits. Then, interspersed with a few more shots of Oberyn's ruined body, we get a few stunned reaction shots from the people watching - among them Tywin, Cersei, and Jaime. Everyone is too stunned to speak. With the exception of Ellaria's heartbroken cries, the arena is completely and utterly silent.

Then Tyrion starts to laugh - softly at first, then louder and louder until he's basically cackling with hysteria. Those around him stare at him uneasily, convinced that he's lost his mind - which he basically has. His laughter mingles with Ellaria's sobs for several uncomfortable seconds before Tywin motions for the guards to take Tyrion away. Tyrion doesn't resist at all as he's half-marched, half-dragged out of the arena, still laughing uncontrollably. The camera lifts away from the scene into an aerial perspective, revealing the full extent of the carnage in the arena: Oberyn and Gregor Clegane lying next to one another in a slowly expanding pool of their shared blood. A tragedy and mockery of justice in one unforgettable image.

Ellaria's cries and Tyrion's despairing laughter continue to play over this shot until the screen cuts to black. The credits are accompanied by a suitably mournful song, or better yet, total silence.

I'd rather not have Tyrion laughing hysterically. That was a Catelyn thing and they completely messed that up. We see Tyrion laughing at his own misery often enough already. I want him to be completely broken at the end of this duel. Having him on his hands and knees vomiting up the breakfast he had with Oberyn is all that's really necessary. Maybe Bronn or Jaime can be standing next to him and offer some kind of small reaction. Tywin will remain indifferent because he knows this will have consequences in Dorne but Ellaria crying is a must. The way you put it reminded me of Cedric Diggory's death in Harry Potter and how his father sobs uncontrollably in front of the crowd. She needs to be the focus of the reactions.

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:bowdown:

Your ending to the episode is fantastic!

Thanks! It's one of those moments that I've played out in my mind so many times that it basically feels like I've seen the episode already (I did something very similar with the Red Wedding last year). But once we get the actual version of the scene, I expect that I'll be very happy with it, and it will quickly replace my own speculation in future reflections.

I love the way you describe it, and I wish that it ends this way! However, not only will we get Inigo Montaya comparisons or something (no idea what that is), but there will be many people comparing it to the iconic Walt breakdown scene in Crawl Space. I think Alex Graves and D&D might want to avoid the comparisons.

Thank you! Good call with the Walt reference - I loved that scene in Breaking Bad as well.The Inigo Montoya comparisons are a reference to a 1987 fantasy adventure film called The Princess Bride (adapted from a 1973 novel of the same name) that's achieved cult status here in the U.S. A subplot the film involves a Spainard, Inigo Montoya, seeking vengeance against Count Rugen, a six-fingered man who killed his father. When Montoya finally confronts Rugen, he says his now-famous line: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die". As they fight, he repeats that line over and over, at first irritating and then infuriating his adversary.

It's eerily similar to the duel between Oberyn and the Mountain in many respects. The key difference is that in The Princess Bride, it's the bad guy (Rugen) who deals the good guy (Inigo) a seemingly mortal wound before the good guy rallies and kills him. I have no way of knowing if G.R.R.M. took any inspiration from that particular scene when he was writing the fight between Oberyn and the Mountain, but regardless, he subverts the traditional fantasy-fulling ending of their confrontation in exactly the way that you might expect that he would. ;)

I'd rather not have Tyrion laughing hysterically. That was a Catelyn thing and they completely messed that up. We see Tyrion laughing at his own misery often enough already. I want him to be completely broken at the end of this duel. Having him on his hands and knees vomiting up the breakfast he had with Oberyn is all that's really necessary. Maybe Bronn or Jaime can be standing next to him and offer some kind of small reaction. Tywin will remain indifferent because he knows this will have consequences in Dorne but Ellaria crying is a must. The way you put it reminded me of Cedric Diggory's death in Harry Potter and how his father sobs uncontrollably in front of the crowd. She needs to be the focus of the reactions.

I understand your concern. I agree with you that Tyrion's laughter would probably be the hardest part of that scene to pull off without going over the top and ultimately detracting from the moment. It's one of those details I love from the books that might not translate quite as effectively onto the screen. At the very least, it's something that would take a very skilled director and a very skilled actor to pull off successfully. Luckily, Game of Thrones has both of those with Alex Graves and Peter Dinklage. But if it's ultimately excised, I'll understand.

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One small detail is that the new Mountain can't speak English very well and they might have to keep what he says to a minimum (not that he said much in the books :P ). Also, I expect that most hardcore fans won't like it, cause they will get hyped and expect too much and will be disappointed anyway. It will definitely be a scene to remember though; here's hoping it will last more than 5 minutes at least :)

I agree that there'll be a lot of nitpicking from the book readers for this one, because surely D&D will leave out something that someone wanted to see on screen. Cant make everybody happy after all. As for the Mountain, they could just have someone else speak his lines in ADR (additional dialogue recording) and put that in. Thats how it usually goes - let the actor speak his lines, no matter how horrid his accent, so you have the lip flaps, then cut the dialogue and put ADRed lines by another actor on to match the lip flaps.

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From some of the descriptions here, I have a feeling that there will be some people who are disappointed. You can't have the scene replicated so specifically. The show will do it's own thing and I don't think it's realistic for fans to say "they need to do THIS exactly the way they did it in the books or else the scene will be ruined". That's putting expectations at a level that just begs to not be met.



Enjoy it for what it is. I'm sure it will be great. If they don't have every single line or action from the books, it's not the end of the world.


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From some of the descriptions here, I have a feeling that there will be some people who are disappointed. You can't have the scene replicated so specifically. The show will do it's own thing and I don't think it's realistic for fans to say "they need to do THIS exactly the way they did it in the books or else the scene will be ruined". That's putting expectations at a level that just begs to not be met.

Enjoy it for what it is. I'm sure it will be great. If they don't have every single line or action from the books, it's not the end of the world.

Exactly, though I still hope they get the broad strokes across: that Oberyn is an intelligent fighter, tries to get a confession out of Gregor and pays the price for it.

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Exactly, though I still hope they get the broad strokes across: that Oberyn is an intelligent fighter, tries to get a confession out of Gregor and pays the price for it.

I have no doubt that this will be the case.

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From some of the descriptions here, I have a feeling that there will be some people who are disappointed. You can't have the scene replicated so specifically. The show will do it's own thing and I don't think it's realistic for fans to say "they need to do THIS exactly the way they did it in the books or else the scene will be ruined". That's putting expectations at a level that just begs to not be met.

Enjoy it for what it is. I'm sure it will be great. If they don't have every single line or action from the books, it's not the end of the world.

Trust me, my own detailed and hopeful speculation about what the scene will look like is entirely a function of me being overly eager to see what the scene will actually look like on the show (and having two weeks to think about it with no new episode to distract me). I trust Benioff and Weiss completely at this point, and I'm certain that they will capture the spirit of the encounter masterfully. The details are fun to think about, but ultimately less important.

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Hey, the TV show has twisted the plot enough around to the point where Oberyn could win....That is good Oberyn has a greater well of character development than Gregor will ever have...but I suppose I'm whistling against the wind here and for once the TV show will follow the plot of books...


Hey, again as far as fighting goes I would suggest pretty much any episode of Starz Spartacus outdoes anything so far that has been on GoT....


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Hey, the TV show has twisted the plot enough around to the point where Oberyn could win....That is good Oberyn has a greater well of character development than Gregor will ever have...but I suppose I'm whistling against the wind here and for once the TV show will follow the plot of books...

Hey, again as far as fighting goes I would suggest pretty much any episode of Starz Spartacus outdoes anything so far that has been on GoT....

The show has always followed the plot of the books. I think that's undeniable. The journey between them may be different, but the major plot points have all been the same.

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The show has always followed the plot of the books. I think that's undeniable. The journey between them may be different, but the major plot points have all been the same.

Huh? Edric? Davos? Jeyne Westerling? Gendry? Samwell? Talisa? Ros? and on and on....you are are close to right on the Easteros plotline however the North and Westeros have taken some queer turns...

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Huh? Edric? Davos? Jeyne Westerling? Gendry? Samwell? Talisa? Ros? and on and on....you are are close to right on the Easteros plotline however the North and Westeros have taken some queer turns...

At the risk of falling for a troll...

None of those alter the plot, lol. Gendry and Ros have nothing to do with the story. If Gendry does, I'm sure he'll turn back up. Davos, how? Samwell, how? Talisa/Jeyne, how? RW still happened. Whether she lives or dies doesn't affect the story.

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Hey, the TV show has twisted the plot enough around to the point where Oberyn could win....That is good Oberyn has a greater well of character development than Gregor will ever have...but I suppose I'm whistling against the wind here and for once the TV show will follow the plot of books...

In no way has the plot been twisted. There have been changes along the way but the story is largely the same.

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Where in the books do Stannis and Davos go to Braavos and the Iron Bank..nowhere ...the Iron comes to Stannis and negotiates "only" with Stannis nowhere is Davos involved...


Edric in the books is what Gendry is supposedly in the tv series...not just a stillborn sealed in a glass cylinder on Dragonstone


A much greater deal has been made of Samwell and Davos in the tv series than the books (even though they happen to be a POV's)


The Ironborn plotline makes absolutely no sense...and where does "Yara" come from?


Who the heck is Talisa Maegyr in the books...no one...and guess what Jeyne Westerling lives with the slight possibilty that she is carrying Robb Stark's child...


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The duel will be great... But surely Oberyn fans are hoping there is also a pre-duel meal scene with OM and a certain Lannister that might help prove a popular OM theory?

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Where in the books do Stannis and Davos go to Braavos and the Iron Bank..nowhere ...the Iron comes to Stannis and negotiates "only" with Stannis nowhere is Davos involved...

Edric in the books is what Gendry is supposedly in the tv series...not just a stillborn sealed in a glass cylinder on Dragonstone

A much greater deal has been made of Samwell and Davos in the tv series than the books (even though they happen to be a POV's)

The Ironborn plotline makes absolutely no sense...and where does "Yara" come from?

Who the heck is Talisa Maegyr in the books...no one...and guess what Jeyne Westerling lives with the slight possibilty that she is carrying Robb Stark's child...

None of these changes the plot. They add to and change parts of the story but the plot remains the same. There is absolutely no reason to assume that these changes would cause Oberyn surviving to make sense, as that not only changes the story but also changes the plot.

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I don't know why Oberyn told Tyrion that the Mountain cut Elia in half. That wasn't in the books and it's just stupid to be honest. I really doubt he brought his greatsword with him when he scaled Maegor's Tower just to kill a defenseless woman and her children. Even if he did, I wonder how that went...

"Here, stand up, Princess. I just raped you and now I have to kill you. By chopping you in half. Step outside of the bedroom, over there in that open space so I can get a clear swing."

No, he was lying on top of her when he murdered her and when he was finished raping her, he just picked up his heavy mailed glove and dropped it down on her face. Because it was that easy for him. Gregor Clegane doesn't need a sword to completely obliterate someone. And the irony is that Gregor kills Oberyn the exact same way. He emasculates him by entering a missionary position and getting right in his face, "close enough to kiss." Then he delivers those disturbing last lines.

It's a revelation. The ultimate final taunt. No one knew quite how gruesome Elia's death was but the Mountain bellows it loud enough for everyone to hear. Then he demonstrates the same savagery on Oberyn as testament. If they cut Oberyn in half, I will be upset. But the fact Lena Headey has her thumbs over Pedro Pascal's eyes in that photoshoot at least shows that the actors are somewhat aware of how he dies in the books. Which tells me that's probably how he will die in the series. Those photos were most likely taken after season four was already filmed. It won't be exactly like his death in the books and that's alright. I had a hard time imagining Gregor beating Oberyn's face in with one hand while the other hand's fingers were gouging out his eyes anyway.

These are the things I want:

  • Gregor's last words to Oberyn - especially "LIKE THIS"

Oberyn dying the same way Elia died

The use of some sort of special effects on Oberyn's head/face (it has to be absolutely brütal)

Thorough and insightful post. That being said, prepare to be let down. My brother works in "the buziness" of post editing in La La land and the rumor that went around about 5 months ago was that originally the scene was filmed exactly as it is depicted in the books, but top brass felt it was way too over the top so they went and re-shot the ending. In episode 7 we see Mountain 3.0 hacking savagely at a guy on the ground. Expect the dialogue to stay the same, but also expect it to end with "and I cut her in half, like this." Oberyn will still be mounted and taunted, and have his eyes gouged out. The mountain will just get up after and cut him down the middle.

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Where in the books do Stannis and Davos go to Braavos and the Iron Bank..nowhere ...the Iron comes to Stannis and negotiates "only" with Stannis nowhere is Davos involved...

Edric in the books is what Gendry is supposedly in the tv series...not just a stillborn sealed in a glass cylinder on Dragonstone

A much greater deal has been made of Samwell and Davos in the tv series than the books (even though they happen to be a POV's)

The Ironborn plotline makes absolutely no sense...and where does "Yara" come from?

Who the heck is Talisa Maegyr in the books...no one...and guess what Jeyne Westerling lives with the slight possibilty that she is carrying Robb Stark's child...

These are details. Not major plot changes.

The major plot point is that Stannis acquires a loan from the Iron Bank. The items you mention are details that do not alter that point.

The major plot points are that Mel performs blood magic with one of Robert's bastards, and Davos lets him go (and also demonstrates that Stannis is willing to sacrifice his own blood). Swapping Gendry for Edric is a detail that does not affect these points.

Jayne Westerling's survival (with potential Robb offspring) so far has made zero plot difference in the books. And the showrunners were in a position to ask GRRM "hey if we kill Robb's wife will that mess anything up?". So there is no evidence this is a massive plot change either.

Etc etc.

Oberyn dying however? That IS a major plot point, it affects a huge number of future events. There's no way they're going to change it so that he lives.

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Thorough and insightful post. That being said, prepare to be let down. My brother works in "the buziness" of post editing in La La land and the rumor that went around about 5 months ago was that originally the scene was filmed exactly as it is depicted in the books, but top brass felt it was way too over the top so they went and re-shot the ending. In episode 7 we see Mountain 3.0 hacking savagely at a guy on the ground. Expect the dialogue to stay the same, but also expect it to end with "and I cut her in half, like this." Oberyn will still be mounted and taunted, and have his eyes gouged out. The mountain will just get up after and cut him down the middle.

I wouldn't be shocked. Honestly while the show has some uncomfortably graphic scenes I don't find it anywhere on the level of a show like dexter. The ending of the duel the way it goes down in the book really could be too much.

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I'm not sure I NEED to have the Mountain smashing Oberyn's face in while breaking his teeth and gouging out his eyes at the same time. I'm sure the death will be plenty gruesome on the show but it's not like the only way to honor the books is to show a man's face being squeezed and mashed to a pulp until his brain is destroyed.


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